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Rare gum inflamation
01-22-2016, 02:00 PM,
Rare gum inflamation
My 5-year-old schnauzer developed a swollen gum just above his upper fang. It appeared overnight. It just a tiny part of the gum (1cms x 1cms) that is red and swollen and it lost the dark normal gum color the rest of the mouth has. 

I took him to the vet, he suspected it was traumatic since it appeared overnight and prescribed anti-inflamatory (Rimadyl) for 2 days. It didn't work. He then prescribed Papenzym for 5 days. It didn't work either. The lesion still the same size, color and location. It has not grown, it does not hurts the dog, even when pressed hard, the tooth if firm and healthy, it does not bleed, it doesnt bother the dog to bark, eat, drink water or play. 

Vet insists it's not a neoplasic lesion, since it clearly seems like the gum tissue swollen, so cutting to extract a sample for a biopsy would damage the gum more. He doesn't considered to do an x-ray since the tooth is firm, healthy and it does not have pain. He checked under the gum above the teeth for foreign bodies and nothing. 

His best guess is that it was a traumatic lesion, something he ate or a hit that swollen the gum, then it keeps on swollen because the lower fang keeps pressing the site. 

Thing is, that he is puzzled too because of the lesion, he will investigate on local anti-inflamatories to use or perhaps injecting cortioids right on the lesion to reduce swolleness and revert the cycle where the lower fangs keeps bruising the lesion. 

I'd like to get some other people's opinion in order to expand the options of the causes and treatment of the lesions.

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01-22-2016, 04:38 PM,
RE: Rare gum inflamation
Hmmmm, sounds like one of those medical mysteries that can be quite frustrating to deal with. I would think the best thing to do in such as case is to seek out a specialist in this field, that would be a board-certified dentist. You can find one by visiting the American Veterinary Dentist College website and see if you have one near you. These specialists are quite used to seeing things that are more on the challenging side and therefore have more resources when it comes to diagnostics and treatment options. Best of luck!
Former AAHA animal hospital employee, dog trainer and dog behavior consultant. Published dog author on several print and web publications.
01-22-2016, 04:48 PM,
RE: Rare gum inflamation
At first, from looking at the small pictures the growth looked like an epulis, some thing that my dog had at one time and the vet had to remove. But then, when I looked at the picture closer, it doesn't seem like a growth, but like if the gum is simply swollen. Wondering if it could be caused by some sort of gum infection or tooth root infection as the vet in the link below suggests. Sounds like your vet didn't try an antibiotic yet, but the vet seems to suggest that if it's smooth it's likely gum/tooth related. As above suggested already, not bad to get a second opinion or see a specialist when you see you're not getting anywhere with one vet.
01-22-2016, 05:01 PM,
RE: Rare gum inflamation
Thank you for posting the pictures, they are very clear and well taken. I would just add that a vet really cannot tell what a swelling is based on the lack of pain and visual inspection of the gum and under the gum. X-rays are done for a good reason, to reach areas that cannot be visually inspected. It could be there is partial break or chip of the bone or root infection. Many timers dogs get dental cleaning done and when the vet does x-rays they find problems that aren't visually apparent. Also is your dog on any of these medications? cyclosporine, calcium channel blockers or phenobarbital? these are known to cause gingival hyperplasia (swelling of gums).
01-22-2016, 07:13 PM,
RE: Rare gum inflamation
Thank you guys for your responses.

The veterinarian told me he will be investigating the problem with a dentist, so I guess he is consultanting with another member of the team more specialized. So, I'll wait next appointment to check on that.

I'll request the x-ray for further investigation even though he discarded it at first.

And no, my dog is not on any other medicines.

Thanks for your replies... I'll forward the whole texts to the vet so he can think out-of-the-box in this one!!

Anyone else with other thoughts?
01-24-2016, 02:01 AM,
RE: Rare gum inflamation
I would also add that no vet can tell if a growth is not malignant by just looking. There are many growths that mimic innocent looking growths, so not sure how it can be excluded a malignancy when there is  a (likely small) but yet, possible chance. It doesn't really look like a growth, just swollen tissue, but still a biopsy would not be a bad idea to play it safe. Not sure why the vet says a biopsy is not possible, my dogs had biopsies on their gums done no problem. My last dog had it done not too long ago when we weren't sure if my dog's gum issue was an epulis or something else. Luckily, in my case was just an epulid, but the only way to tell was through a small biopsy sent off to a lab and evaluated by a pathologist.
01-25-2016, 02:44 PM,
RE: Rare gum inflamation
Can't think of anything else to add, as others already posted some ideas, but when you have a chance and you have a diagnosis from your vet, please keep us posted on what it turned out to be! I hope it's an easy fix!

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